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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Daily Devotion for June 22, 2013

Moses with the Ten Commandments. This masterpiece by Rembrandt (ca. 1659) captures Moses’ greatness, in his moment of despair when he first sees the golden calf.



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lessons and scripture

Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.


Saturday is Oldies Day, and this one should bring a smile to your face.

Prayer for the Morning

Oh God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning; I pray that this day you will incline my heart to keep your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving you thanks for a day lived in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Keep Me from Falling

'Mid the discordant noises of the day I hear thee calling;
I stumble as I fare along Earth's way; keep me from falling.

Mine eyes are open but they cannot see for gloom of night:
I can no more than lift my heart to thee for inward light.

The wild and fiery passion of my youth consumes my soul;
In agony I turn to thee for truth and self-control.

For Passion and all the pleasures it can give will die the death;
But this of me eternally must live, thy borrowed breath.

'Mid the discordant noises of the day I hear thee calling;
I stumble as I fare along Earth's way; keep me from falling.



May the God of peace, who declared victory over death by the resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, make me perfect in every thought and act through His grace, that my life might be pleasing in his sight and that I might share the perfect peace that is only possible through Him, to whom be glory for ever and ever.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

<i>Moses with the Ten Commandments</i> by Phillipe de Champaigne ca. 1648
Moses with the Ten Commandments by Phillipe de Champaigne ca. 1648

Psalm 4:4-5

Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the Lord.

Blue Latin Cross

Deuteronomy 34 (ESV)

The Greatest Prophet

Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, the Negeb, and the Plain, that is, the Valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar.

And the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.”

So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day. Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.

And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.

And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.

Notes on the Scripture

It seemed fitting to end our reading of Exodus with that last chapter of Deuteronomy. Moses is not permitted to enter the Promised Land because of an insult to Yahweh. (The nature of his offense, recounted in Numbers, is not completely clear. (Numbers 20)) But although his leadership of the Hebrews ends at the Canaan frontier, the magnitude of his life is not diminished by it. There was, truly, no other prophet of God to equal him until the coming of Christ.

In fact, if one were an atheist and read the Bible, one would have to credit Moses with inventing Judaism and, thus, Western morality. It would make him the greatest legal mind in history and, with the exception again of Christ, the most brilliant ethicist, for the law he transmitted to the Jews is still followed, to the letter, by many people today, and forms the moral foundations of most of the civilized world, outside greater Asia. His religious teachings were the basis of not only Judaism, but also Christianity and Islam. Both Christ and Mohamed quoted him (or if you are a believer, the Word of God given to him) for moral principles. His name occurs over 500 times in the Koran.

And if that were not remarkable enough, Moses' extensive integrated religious and civil code did not evolve from centuries of scholarship and argument, as, say, the philosophies of Greece 1,000 years later. His writing had almost no intellectual foundation. It was cut from whole cloth, for it resembled nothing else in the world.

Does your belief in God, or the Bible, ever waiver? If so, consider the likelihood that Moses, a struggling shepherd living in the middle of nowhere, could have accomplished this by himself.

Even assuming he was the recipient of a decent education by the standards of 1400 B.C., the Egyptians were intellectually primitive. Writing had just been invented. Monotheism was practically unheard of; the greatest religious minds of the world were worshiping things, such as statues with the head of a jackal, or burning babies inside statues of Moloch. Philosophy did not exist. The very concept of modern morality did not exist. To illustrate this, consider that the Romans, the world's most advanced civilization until the Renaissance, did not conceive that taking a human life might be “wrong”, per se.

The most credible explanation for Moses' astonishing achievement is the one given in Exodus itself: Moses was the great prophet of the one true God; and Exodus was transmitted through him, not created by him.

endless knot

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Memory Verse

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

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